Meet Christy Walton, America’s meanest billionaire
A few weeks back, Bill Gates and 39 other extraordinarily wealthy Americans made headlines when they promised to give at least half of their colossal fortunes to charity, during the course of their lifetime. Their names, along with “pledge letters” in which they discuss their own generosity, are published on an official website, here.
Presumably, members of the great unwashed are now supposed to gawp faithfully at this site, marvelling at the staggering generosity of this merry band of plutocrats, who (provided they actually live up to their publicly-made promises) will in future have but a few hundred million bucks to get by on.
I prefer to use it a different way, however: to discover the identity of America’s meanest billionaire: the richest person to have so far neglected to become part of Gates and Warren Buffet’s heart warming project, which is called The Living Pledge.
With this in mind, the Forbes magazine list of the 400 wealthiest Americans reveals that the nation’s most wealthy Living Pledge refusenik is currently one Christy Walton. She’s a 54-year-old worth 21 billion, who inherited a large portion of the Wal-Mart supermarket chain (which owns ASDA in the UK) from her husband John.
Her relatives Jim Walton, Alice Walton, and S Robson Walton (the 5th, 6th, and 7th richest Americans, who are each, thanks to Wal-Mart worth around $19b) have also yet to agree to give half their fortunes to good causes. Think on that, next time you’re cruising down the fruit and veg aisle.
Other prominent meanies, if that is the right expression (it has a nice ring to it, anyway), include Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and David and Charles Koch, who own the eponymous energy and chemical firm.
Oh, and since you’re wondering, Britian’s richest residents are not officially eligible to join the list, thanks to a technicality: it at present is only open to Americans. Who knows whether Sir Phlip Green, Lakshmi Mittal, Roman Abramovich and those crazy Hinduja brothers count that a lucky escape?Tagged in: bill gates, christy walton, living pledge, warren buffett
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